Flying epiphanies

Posted by in short story

It was another long day at the office, and Merina couldn’t take anymore of it. He clock rang 8:00pm, and she sighed. She was putting in long hours, and for what? She couldn’t bear her coworkers, uncrowned kings in their world; she couldn’t bear her manager, at whose beck and call she had to prostrate before; and most of all she couldn’t bear the corporate life, turning her titillating mind, which had been so frisky once, into what seemed like rotting mush. Bah! It was no use thinking these saddening thoughts.

She took out a cigarette, and lighting it, went to her spot. This was the one corner in the building where she found peace. It was her place. It was a silent place. And it was the place where her demons stopped pulling at her fractured soul, if only for then. On the side of an abandoned terrace where a lot of inventory lay forgotten, was a cut in the fence. Her spot lay nestled in that cut, dangling between tile floors and the empty fall. It lay open to the elements, so open, and yet so dangerous. Was it the incessant chill wind, which ran tenderly on her skin, carrying her from the shattered ruins in her mind that soothed her? Or was it the earful void whose complete permeation was broken only by the calls of the eagles, and the fluttering wings of the pigeons? There were no traitors to nature here. The creatures floating around her were pure of soul. They did not partake in the trifling games and machinations of avaricious mankind. Smiling at this thought, she let out another puff over the terrace, above the concrete chasm at the precipice of which she stood. Maybe it was the looming fear of death, which brought into focus the inanity of her existence?

Whatever it was about her spot, she liked it. She stopped living in the tragic romance whose hallowed strings still played unbidden in the remainder of her heart. It had been eons since the time of the decimation of her being, but she hadn’t been able to move past it. She had switched her job, lost her city, and given up their friends; yet the past tormented her. She hunted like a vampire in bloodlust for the secret that would release her. What epiphany would take her from this ravaged world, where black hands grappled the remnants of her leftover self, to the bright sunny days of her past? She let out another puff as she shook her head to get out of the spiraling chain of thoughts, her orange hair billowing a halo around her head.

A plastic bag caught her attention. It hovered between the hills and the dull mass of buildings, pulled by each faction, unable to choose. It rose and fell on the whims of the wind, yet it seemed free. It took whatever form it was given. Accepting of its past, and unknowing of the future, it shone in the present, becoming one with the air it flew in. It rose again, jumping in little bounds as if to scale the very peak of the hill, and then it fell and fell, barely scraping the treeline before rising on the currents again. Every movement it made was a joyous expression of its life. Every twitch and bend, every silent fold was radiant in the very knowledge of its existence. It danced on till the wind stumbled for a moment, where it gracefully fell to the treeline and embedded itself, a part of the landscape.

As she extinguished her cigarette, she smiled at the simple answer she had received. Looking right, she spied a red shirt staring at the same plastic bag and felt an unexplainable connection to him. A glimmer of hope sparked in her, and she walked back inside. Lost in her thoughts, she was walking back to her desk, when she collided with something and tripped.

As she stabilized, she noticed a red shirt holding her, and grinned. She now knew how to flow again.